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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary February 1945

1st February 1945 - Birandollo

Normal training.


2nd February 1945

1500 Commanding Officer’s O Group, orders received for move to Pieve de Cesato (Sheet 89 II SW)


3rd February 1945

1000 Battalion commences to move to new area.

1330 Battalion established in new area, relieving 2/5 Queens and now hold role of reserve battalion. Locations Tac HQ and Support HQ 365286. X Company HQ 351285. Y Company HQ 364376. Mortars 367282 all on sheet 99 I NE. Z Company HQ 371294 on sheet 89 III SW.


4th February 1945

Battalion on normal routine.

1100 Brigade Commander visits Tac HQ.

Major J.A.R. Milman OBE takes over 2 i/c of battalion.


5th February 1945

0900 Commanding Officer with Intelligence Officer and company commanders on recce to forward battalions.


6th February 1945

Companies employed on road repairing.


7th February 1945

Companies employed on road repairing.


8th February 1945

0900 Recce parties to 1 London Scottish in Granarolo (Sheet 88 II SE) in preparation for our relief of 1 London Scottish.


9th February 1945

1400 Tac HQ established 353322. Support Company at 355321.

1735 Z Company relief completed locations HQ 333330. Platoons at 333333, 334334, 335333.

1920 Takeover completed. No incidents. X Company locations. HQ 353332, platoons at 354330, 349334, 354333. Y Company locations. HQ and platoon at 344332. Platoons at 344334, 345334.

Commanding Officers lays on contact patrols for battalion. Inter company and battalion contacts left and right.

1925 Z Company report hearing of enemy truck and felling of trees in area 332335.

2130 X Company commander visits Tac HQ and informs Commanding Officer at 355336 not shown on map. Pioneers to booby-trap house at 0500hrs on 10th February.


10th February 1945

0002 Z Company report movement in area 332335.

0745 All contact patrols night of 9th/10th all have nothing to report.

1005 Commanding Officer visits companies.

1115 Snipers report enemy seen in roof of house at 354337.

1155 Brigade Commander visits Tac HQ.

1250 Brigade Commander leaves Tac after having talk with Commanding Officer.

2200 Battalion had quiet day on the front, Spandaus and light mortaring with plenty of enemy movement heard by forward companies.


11th February 1945

0630 All patrols night of 10th/11th contacted their respective companies and battalions with nothing to report.

1400 Enemy quiet on front and companies have occasional shells in their areas.

1405 Z Company report two enemy seen at C. Randi 337341.

1440 Z Company report two enemy seen at 332338.

1740 Z Company report what appeared to be a turret covered at 333335.              

1940 4.2-inch mortar OP report loud explosion at 338338 but Z and Y Companies have no information about the same.

2300 Z Company report being heavily mortared.

2320 X Company three enemy engaged by Bren and they disappeared behind river bank.


12th February 1945

0025 Z Company report being stonked by heavy mortars (no casualties).

0112 X Company report heavy mortar stonk in area 350333.

0122 Z Company report heavy mortar stonk from area 349343. Defensive Fires laid on.

0337 44 Recce out of contact with Z Company but nothing has happened.

0415 X Company patrol 354335 found two enemy positions certainly located one German heard talking believed sentry post for footbridge.

0427 X Company contact 1 London Irish Rifles – nothing to report.

0543 Z Company recce patrol returned from 332334 reports working party (enemy) of about twelve with two sentries carting rubble away to river.

0545 Z Company contact patrol to 44 Recce report enemy occupying house 326334 which Recce sometimes use as OP. Recce to deal with it.

1600 Quiet day on battalion front.

1630 X Company report two enemy stretcher bearers seen taking wounded away from 352336 our side of the river at approximately 1330hrs.

2130 Z Company report Bosche playing ‘Begin the Beguine’ to them.


13th February 1945

0900 Night of 12/13th very quiet but our patrolling active with no major engagements with the enemy. Royal Engineers also clear track 346335 towards river of mines for 250 yards.

0950 Z Company report the turret in front of their company is at about 332335 immediately behind rubble. Tanks to deal with it.

1105 Brigade Commander visits Tac HQ.

1140 Brigade Commander leaves Tac HQ.

1145 OP report enemy movement on bank 352336.

1400 Mortar OP report movement at 352338.

1700 Air photographs reveal blow at 329334 has caused river to overflow to the south to an extent of fifty yards.

2359 Companies report enemy vehicle movement on his side of the river.


14th February 1945

0600 Our patrols active night 13th/14th but no major engagements.

0740 X Company report two sections moved on to slopes on bank but forced to withdraw owing to Spandau crossfire and heavy mortaring.

1430 Quiet day except for the usual Spandau fire and light mortaring.

1755 Battalion HQ informed that 2/10 Gurkhas are going to attack 358339 with tanks.

2210 Occasional enemy vehicle movement heard by our companies.


15th February 1945

0600 Patrols active night 14th/15th all contact okay with nothing to report. Engaged by our 3-inch mortars.

0745 Z Company report enemy mortar (small) at approximately 330336. Engaged by our 3-inch mortars.

1800 Quiet day with usual enemy vehicle movement heard on his side of the river.

1905 Brigade informs us that Gurkhas are now patrolling Di Sopra also railway and river.

2030 Quiet on battalion front with usual enemy movement heard.


16th February 1945

0600 Our patrol active during nigh 15th/16th with one engagement at 0245 at 342336 by Y Company standing patrol which returned to Y Company HQ after having Corporal of the patrol killed.

0930 Y Company report two enemy digging at 348338 engaged by MMG.

1120 Tanks shoot on rubble 332335, five Bosche with red cross flag appeared on top of bank.

1230 Z Company report that Bosche carried six stretcher cases from 332335.

2000 Quiet day on battalion front with usual enemy vehicle movement heard by forward companies.

2005 Reference Y Company patrol on night 15th/16th their casualties now reported as three ORs wounded with Corporal killed.


17th February 1945

0120 Y Company recce patrol which went to find body of Corporal returned and did not find body of Corporal and heard no enemy in the area.

0400 Our patrols had quiet night. Nothing to report.

0630 Enemy vehicles heard this side of the river.

1700 Battalion had a quiet day on front.

2055 Brigade informs Battalion HQ that 20-30 Bosche crossed river at 360343 – 362345.

2220 Enemy who crossed river seen off by Gurkhas.


18th February 1945

0720 Quiet night 17th/18th with our patrols reporting enemy vehicle movements his side of the river.

1800 Quiet day on battalion front.


19th February 1945

0550 Our patrols active night 18th/19th but no engagements with Bosche.

0645 Y Company report standing patrol to gap 342337, one man trod on Schmeisser – four casualties, patrol returned.

2045 2/10 Gurkhas report about 20 Bosche crossing river, our contact patrol to stay with them until Bosche are cleared off.

2345 Companies report enemy vehicle movement his side of river.


20th February 1945

0600 Our patrols active night of 19th/20th, no engagements.

0740 Z Company have two Bosche deserters from 3 Company, 26 Panzergrenadier Regiment.

1600 Quiet day on battalion front.

1635 X Company start their relief by 1 London Irish.

1645 Z Company start their relief by 1 London Irish.

2100 X, Y, Z Companies report relief complete – no incidents.

2315 Battalion in reserve area apart from X Company who stayed in Granarola 3532 (88 II SE) for reserve company to 1 London Irish Rifles.

Tac HQ established 365288 (99 I NE). Y Company 364276 (99 I NE). Z Company area 371294 (88 III SW). Support Company in area 366282 (99 I NE).


21st February 1945

Normal routine in reserve area.


22nd February 1945

1000 Leave party for England has interview with Commanding Officer. Battalion normal routine


23rd February 1945

Normal routine.


24th February 1945

1400 Commanding Officer talks to all companies and Battalion HQ on present and future situations.


25th February 1945

12 Platoon of X Company moves to 346334 (88 II SE) in readiness to assist D Company 1 London Irish rifles.


26th February 1945

0800 Movement order received. Battalion to move to Forli (100 IV SW) at 1700hrs.

1645 Battalion embusses for Forli.

1830 Battalion debusses at Forli. Companies dispersed in Forli area.


27th February 1945

Battalion on admin during day.


28th February 1945

1400 2 i/c and Intelligence Officer and party on recce to 2/8 Gurkhas.


28th February 1945

1400 2 i/c and Intelligence Officer and party on recce to 2/8 Gurkhas.


The National Archives (TNA) WO 170/5007 9 Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)